Braden Richardson marks highest score of the season

Photo by Michael Pintar

By Brandy Renck, Special to

Bull rider Braden Richardson saw the draw, watched some video, and kept modest expectations. Looking to make his mark at the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo in Vernal, Utah, Richardson jumped aboard Powder River Rodeo’s Heater.

“I thought he looked like a good bull to ride, but I thought he was more like a team bull after seeing what he did on the first night there,” Richardson said. “Then he really caught my attention with his first jump.”
That’s what makes rodeo so special. It is a blend of athleticism, danger, and unpredictability. Richardson zoomed past good to great, delivering a 93.5-point ride, the highest score on a bull this year in ProRodeo.
“It was fun early. Then about seven seconds in or so, he kind of ran into the bucking chute and kicked and dented the top rail of the fence by the chute. When he did that, it jerked my head back,” said Richardson, who edged out JB Mauney (90) for the title. “I gathered him back and made it. So, for the most part it was a smooth ride, awesome and explosive.”
Richardson netted in $9,522 prize money. He figured there was a chance to cash in on Heater after watching Ky Hamilton post a 91.5 on the bull at the Ute Mountain Round-Up in Cortez, Colo., in June, which set a new arena record.

“But I wasn’t expecting my score,” admitted Richardson.
The Jasper, Texas, native has been methodically working his way back into form after injuries cost him a chance to qualify for his second Wrangler National Finals Rodeo last season. He produced a big win in April in Logandale, Nev., at the Clark County Fair & Rodeo, but there have been challenges the last few months. But everything appears to be coming into focus faster than a Polaroid picture now after wins at Vernal and the St. Paul (Ore.) Rodeo, where he delivered a 90.5 on Big Stone Rodeo Inc.’s Mr. Clean.
“My performance in St. Paul really gave me confidence. I have really been dialed in since then,” Richardson said. “I was just kind of waiting (for a run) like this to happen. I have been working hard and staying positive, knowing good things were going to happen if I stayed patient.”


Other winners at the $210,706 rodeo were all-around cowboy Stetson Wright ($3,861, saddle bronc riding and bull riding); bareback rider Keenan Hayes (87.5 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Flip A Coin); steer wrestler Cameron Morman (3.6 seconds); team ropers Clay Smith/Coleby Payne (4.5 seconds); saddle bronc riders Houston Brown on Powder River Rodeo’s Toss Across and Stetson Wright on Powder River Rodeo’s After Party (87 points each); tie-down roper Brushton Minton (7.8 seconds); breakaway roper Shelby Boisjoli and Sarah Angelone (1.9 seconds each); and barrel racer Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi (17.36 seconds).